Stevio...LA LA Lovin' It?

I'm British-born Chinese from Bristol, UK. I’m LA-based. I’m a hip hop aficionado. After 15 years in London I moved to LA to pursue a new career and outlook on life.

Back in the 80s I was a DJ. In the 90s I contributed to the world's first street style exhibition at London's Victoria & Albert Museum. In 2011, I had my first interviews published. Today, I’m keeping busy with music, art, photos and writing.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

R.I.P. - The legendary Rammellzee died yesterday!

Checking out Twitter today I saw that Stones Throw and HVW8 posted links to pay respects to Rammellzee who died yesterday. There's no update on the cause, but he was only 49 years young!

Like a lot of folks, I was hipped to Rammellzee by Charlie Ahern's "Wild Style" film. Then, I got myself a copy of the "K-Rob vs Rammellzee" 12" vinyl on Profile Records via mail order from collector. That tune was produced by Basquiat! I paid about $18 and at the time Huw, from Mr. Bongos in London, reckoned it was worth $75. Who knows now. Later in Japan, I found a re-issue of the K-Rob joint with the original Basquiat picture cover!! What a prize.

When I used to dig for tunes I also came across the Death Comet Crew that released some tunes with Rammellzee in Europe which were a bit too "Tackhead" for my liking. Very industrial electro. Most recently, in 2004, Death Comet Crew released “Bi-Conicals of the Rammellzee,” Rammellzee's first full-length record.

A New York Times' article pays tribute to Rammellzee and explains how complex this hip hop pioneer was.

"He cast himself as an urban philosopher whose overarching theory, which he called Gothic Futurism, posited that graffiti writers were trying to liberate the mystical power of letters from the strictures of modern alphabetical standardization and that they had inherited this mission from medieval monks...

He legally changed his name to Rammellzee — which he described as not a name but a mathematical equation — when he was younger, Mr. Ahearn said. As to the name he was born with, Mr. Ahearn said that he knew it but would keep it to himself, as his friend would have wanted. Ms. Zagari Rammellzee likewise declined to reveal it: “It is not to be told. That is forbidden."

Rammellzee's distinctive rhyme style is captured in this rare Jean-Michel Basquiat video.

Toxic cuts up Billy Squier "Big Beat" in 1983 (around the same time Randy Murray recorded the Run-DMC performance "Live at the Funhouse.") Check out the ski googles...pure b-boy! Love the vibe. Check out Basquiat three minutes into the video: "Jean-Michel rocking that gangster bass!"

Legendary performance at the Wild Style amphitheater 1983

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